Designation given to hospitals best equipped to provide immediate and comprehensive stroke treatment
SEATTLE, WA (November 3, 2011) – UW Medicine announced today that Harborview Medical Center and Northwest Hospital & Medical Center have been granted Level 1 Stroke Center designations by the Department of Health and the State of Washington. The hospitals are two of only four facilities in King County to qualify as Level 1 Stroke Centers.
The Level 1 designation was created by the new Washington State Emergency Cardiac and Stroke System, which seeks to reduce the time it takes for people having a heart attack or stroke to get medical care. The system also establishes Level 2 Primary Stroke Centers and Level 3 Acute Stroke Capable designations. These facilities include UW Medicine’s Valley Medical Center (Level 2) and UW Medical Center (Level 3).
A Level 1, or Comprehensive Stroke Center, is defined as a facility or system with the personnel, infrastructure and expertise to diagnose and treat stroke patients who require intensive medical and surgical care, specialized tests, or interventional therapies. Level 1 Stroke Centers also act as both treatment and educational resources for other facilities in their regions that may have more limited stroke capabilities.
Harborview and Northwest Hospital have been long-time leaders in stroke care. They have participated in studies that resulted in the most current treatment standards, including the three-hour window immediately following a stroke, when medical intervention is most effective.
“Our board-certified stroke specialists and multidisciplinary specialty care teams have been at the forefront of developing protocols for the emergency treatment of stroke, including those now endorsed by the new Washington State Emergency Cardiac and Stroke System,” said Dr. David Tirschwell, co-director, UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview; member of the state’s Emergency Cardiac and Stroke Technical Advisory Committee; and UW associate professor of neurology.
“The state system and the protocols in place at our hospitals all focus on the goal of restoring normal blood flow to the brain as rapidly as possible,” added Dr. Kyra Becker, also co-director, UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview and UW professor of neurology and neurological surgery.
“Early intervention and a coordinated, multi-specialty stroke team that can respond immediately are our best tools against stroke,” said Dr. Victor Erlich, medical director of the Northwest Hospital stroke program. “Even before the paramedics bring in a stroke patient, we’ve mobilized our team and are prepared to administer care in any possible stroke scenario, even the most acute and complex. We’re dedicated to improving the recovery rates of our stroke patients through rapid response, comprehensive clinical capabilities, a standardized plan of care, family support, rehabilitation and ongoing stroke education.”
In addition to their stroke designations, Harborview, Northwest Hospital, Valley Medical Center and UW Medical Center are Level 1 Cardiac Centers, which indicates that they provide rapid assessment and treatment of acute coronary symptoms, including primary percutaneous coronary intervention, around the clock.
About UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview
The UW Medicine Stroke Center at Harborview is part of the UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute. It is dedicated to providing the highest quality of comprehensive care to stroke patients from diagnosis to rehabilitation. The Stroke Center has been serving for more than a decade as a source of expertise for the region, with immediate access around-the-clock to stroke specialists for TeleStroke consultation related to emergent management of acute stroke patients at hospitals with more limited resources.
Certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, Harborview was the first hospital in Washington state to make the Target: Stroke Honor Roll by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Harborview is also the only hospital in the state that has an accredited program for training the next generation of stroke specialists. For more information, please contact the Stroke Center at (206)744.3975.
About Northwest Hospital’s Stroke Program
Northwest Hospital’s Stroke Program is a Joint Commission Primary Stroke Center, has won the Joint Commission gold seal of approval and a Gold Plus Award from the American Heart/Stroke Association, and has been five-star rated by HealthGrades. For more information on Northwest Hospital’s stroke services, visit http://nwhospital.org/medical-services/stroke-program/.
About UW Medicine
UW Medicine trains health professionals and medical scientists, conducts research to improve health and prevent disease worldwide, and provides primary and specialty care to patients throughout Seattle/King County and the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region. UW Medicine includes Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW School of Medicine, UW Physicians, and Airlift Northwest. UW Medicine also shares in the ownership and governance of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and shares in ownership of Children’s University Medical Group with Seattle Children’s Hospital.
UW Medicine has major academic and service affiliations with Seattle Children’s Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, and the VA Hospital in Boise, Idaho. The UW School of Medicine has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in primary-care training for the past 18 years by US News & World Report. It is the top public institution for receipt of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and second among all institutions for NIH funding, public and private. UW Medicine’s 2,000 full-time faculty and nearly 5,000 volunteer and part-time faculty include four Nobel Laureates, 33 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 33 members of the Institute of Medicine. For more information, visit UW Medicine . Follow us on Twitter – @UWMedicineNews .